About Bidding At Auction
Yes, we have nearly all bid on something at an auction at some point or another. It’s fun to watch the frantic bidding just prior to the hammer falling and watching the new owner walk away in the glory of his or her fresh win. Read here about bidding at auction.
Auctions are cool and ultimately fun to be involved in and watch even as a spectator. If you are lucky you may even get to go to an auction that serves up some good food for all the punters that are there to part with some hard-earned cash.
What Sort Of Auctions Are We Talking About?
Our topic is going to cover the purchasing of cars, trucks, vans, and buses from the auction system based in Japan. This will cover all auction groups from USS (the largest and most dominant) to JU, Arai, Zero, Hero, Zip and a myriad of others
As I type this there are moves underway here in Japan as USS car auction is to buy out as many of the smaller auctions as it can consume on its way to becoming the largest and possibly only auction system based in Japan.
These auctions have been around a very long time now and have set methods, systems and processes that often start at the car dealership level and progress all the way through to the shipping of the car to your country. They are often involved in the entire way these days.
“How Can They Be Involved The Entire Way If They Are Simply An Auction!”
Well for a start lets not forget we are and what country these auctions are situated in! This is Japan my friend and it’s a county that is rich in processes with fingers in every corner, not to mention that if they control everything they can also take a slice of everything.
Large companies in Japan love to show their wealth and its no secret. These large auctions are no different and the more systems they control along the way to nationwide dominance the more they can dictate the pricing and keep the Used Car Automotive system moving along nicely so that all the players scavenging from the auction system must pay the piper to participate.
It works. No, it’s not cheap but there is nowhere to turn as the Used Car Auction system is controlled by in large a small group of large companies. To buy a car here in Japan an agent as
we are called must be a member of these auctions.
As the auctions grow and start their own transport systems, exporting offices and more these ease of buying and distributing cars as an Auction Agent/Exporter is getting easier but sadly not cheaper as the conglomerate grows.
The Good News
However the good news for you the buyer is that we at Auto Trader Imports manage the entire process personally with a wide range of contacts here in Japan. Being a New Zealander we are used to cutting out as many middlemen as possible. We only use the auction for the purpose of bidding only. Everything else is handled in house with the bulk of the savings going into lower fees for our buyers.
Does The Auction Control The Used Car Market?
The auctions here in Japan play an extremely pivotal role here in the car industry as nearly every used car in the country will end up at auction at some point in its life. So yes its quite easy to say that the role of the auction here in Japan is huge, to say the least.
So as all these cars turn up every day of every week at auction here in Japan a small frenzy begins at every auction house around Japan. It grows from there to websites like this and others that have clients watching our public auction listings with mouths ajar as they hunt for the next dream car from Japan. It’s all quite a process. The auction would like us to stop showing you (the public) cars completely as you are not members. I can imagine you thinking that this must be a ? crazy thing to do. Quite honestly these Japanese auction houses command such business that they don’t actually care a great deal for exporters to some extent.
Tomorrow when you’re looking at 58,000 cars or more that are flowing through the doors of these auction halls from USS to CAA and more please keep in mind the sheer scale of business here that keeps these cars flowing through these doors from Japan to a new life abroad in someone’s driveway.
Why Do I Need An Auction Agent
An auction agent is a company or person who has a membership to some or all auctions here in Japan. These memberships are quite special and dearly sought after. Often you have to sign over the title of at least two freehold properties to obtain full membership. The reason for this is so that in the slim chance the agent does not pay for a car or cars the auction has security. Not a bad risk on the auction’s behalf huh. They can’t really go backward.
As you know an auction agent is not really a secret agent. I think the name was made up by some Kiwi guys in a Tokyo Roppongi bar one late night over an alcohol-fueled night out.
To be an agent you need to be approved by the police here in Japan and also possess a second-hand dealer license plus a couple of other little tidbits. This still has not explained why you need 007 to buy your car.
Ok, the answer is simple. You the client/buyer do not have official access to the official auction and your 100,000 JPY deposit or whatever is not the same as the collateral that two house titles will bring.
The websites you use to view all these amazing cars that you see do not actually allow you to bid even though you are prompted to enter your bidding amount into a little box on these websites (ours included) Your little bid amount is simply sent to our special email account. In the morning around Japan, there are many car dealers just like us checking their emails and compiling their bids for the day.
Once we have sorted out all the times and decided who has the highest bid from each customer we will then hand this information to a professional bidding executive who has the skills to use the appropriate equipment provided by the auction. So this is why you need an agent. You sadly cant bid from your office or home in Texas or wherever.
Be cautious if you are told otherwise.
Is It Difficult to Bid on Cars?
To bid on cars at an auction requires the efforts of a skilled person as stated above. This person must have exceptional timing and great hand-eye coordination if bidding on two nor three cars at the same time as they sit there pushing little buttons watching lights flashing. Each car will be auctioned in 20 or so seconds or less from beginning to end. There is no time for phone calls or a beer lol.
The bidding will start at 9 am and be relentless for the next 8 to 12 hours. We have multiple people often bidding on the same car. The highest bidder wins. Explaining to someone that they lost a car even though it was possibly less that their budget is never easy. The highest bidder is the winner. No favourites.
We cant see other bidders or their budgets. We simply watch the numbers grow and hope that at some point the lights turn red and the car starts selling under our budget.
Oh, by the way, you will need a deposit in the system to begin bidding. Get started here.
Learn more about deposits and Agent Fees here
It’s a fun experience so give it a try.